All Native Americans are more at risk to Covid than the population at large, just as was true in the 1918 flu epidemic. And many don't have internet access. But there's nothing that can be written on the web that cannot be spoken through telephones. This is a fact useful also among children who are as yet not able to write; they should be able to give vocal commands to a simple land line: no iPhone, no computer. These spoken commands would be turned to text at a remote computer and acted upon, reading from Wikipedia, or even interacting with some form of social networking. Children being schooled at home are languishing without this capability. This functionality will also be useful when the schools are filled again.
We hear of a digital divide. It needn’t be. Our society is missing a simple telephonic interface. This interface could be accessed through a touch tone voice menu, but other configurations are possible. Voice to text software is now very reliable, and in many languages, so that a phone line in to a computer may be used to give commands to remote computers. This might well be like giving commands to Siri, or Alexa – let’s call their telephony sister Telexa.
"The advantages [wealthy educated] parents give...children...start early on....children of professional families hear more spoken words - about 2,100 per hour - compared to 1,200 per hour in working-class families and 600 per hour in families on welfare....Children in professional families [hear] millions more words every year than in a family on welfare." (The Third Pillar, 2020, Raghuram Rajan p.220) . This is a problem that the technologists have long been able to do something about. Nobody has done it. There is no reason for this lapse by educators, technologists, or politicians. There's nothing that can be written on the web that cannot be spoken through telephones. It really is that simple. Please implement this concept yourself if you like it!
Meditation, or, say, staring into a fire on a beach - quiet activities, no activities - all have peaceful value. But when it comes to education, employment, and the hard light of day, the more words the better.
Covid has lifted the curtain on these obvious telephonic applications. Hiding them has been the corporate drive to sell cell phones, computers and to push out the Internet, though this is just a tentative conclusion that I have not established with research.
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